We are listening - Audiology Services

Update from NHS Lanarkshire

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picture of Robbie Rooney

Robbie,

We work hard to ensure we are providing person-centred care to all people accessing our service. We believe that making changes and improvements (however small), based on feedback from service users can have a huge impact for people.

We consult our working partners which includes Patient Forums, Seniors Together, North Lanarkshire Sensory Support Social Work department and the Learning Disability Service regularly, and we are constantly listening and reflecting on feedback received from people using our services. Here are some of the areas that we have been focusing on to make changes and improvements over the past year or so:

HEARING AID CLINICS

You said that access to simple care and maintenance for hearing aids was becoming increasingly difficult due to the high numbers attending clinics:

  • Introduced a booking system - people can book an appointment if it is more suitable for them rather than attending open-access clinics
  • North and South Lanarkshire - access now available mornings and afternoons, Monday to Friday.  This has helped to reduce waiting times at open clinics
  • Battery collection now available at most health centres
  • Trained volunteers now assist at clinics
  • Self-care maintenance of hearing aids - classes have been introduced at acute hospitals   
  • We have improved access for people after their initial hearing aid fit. Local protocol now dictates people are recalled if they report less than 70% satisfaction rather than the nationally agreed standard of 55%


COMMUNICATION


DEMENTIA

We are very aware of the impact of dementia on hearing-impaired people and how it can become exaggerated if not recognised.  Dementia may be accelerated for people if their hearing loss is not managed effectively.  We have met with Alzheimer Scotland and dementia friendly communities to improve communication for people with dementia which has resulted in:  

  • Colour-appropriate signage
  • Visual representation of directions to our department
  • Coloured patient response button for hearing tests


VISUALLY IMPAIRED

  • We now have sensory embossed hearing aid boxes detailing which ear the hearing aid is for
  • Tactile patient response button used when testing hearing


LEARNING DISABILITY

We have worked with our partners from Learning Disability Service and produced an easy-read booklet ”Good Ear Health and Going for a Hearing Test”, simplifying the many aspects of what patients with a learning disability can expect when attending  Audiology.


DEVELOPING KNOWLEDGE AND WORKING WITH PARTNERS

  • We delivered training programmes to Nursing Home staff and provided them with the necessary information to problem-solve day to day issues in a care home setting
  • We  are developing  joint referral pathways in conjunction with the Social Work Rehabilitation Teams / Audiology to facilitate patient requests  for assistive equipment 
  • We delivered training to the Community Rehabilitation Team
  • We are working  with Making Life Easier team to produce a Hearing App
  • Audiology NHS Lanarkshire have two lecturers delivering the degree course at Glasgow Caledonia University


TINNITUS CLINIC

The service has developed tinnitus triage clinics for patients being referred for Audiology Counselling. This ensures that the most appropriate treatment is aligned to individual needs to provide the best possible outcome.

We have developed a good relationship with Psychological Services in North Lanarkshire and are now able to refer people directly to them.

If you have an experience of the Audiology Service you would like to share please speak to a member of staff, respond on Care Opinion or visit the Your Feedback Section of the NHS Lanarkshire website to see the other ways to get in touch www.nhslanarkshire.org.uk

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